YORKSHIRE Scandals is a true-crime double bill of Yorkshire domestic dramas, divided by 410 years, that turns the spotlight on class, control and the importance of the news.

York companies Re:Verse Theatre and Wildgoose Theatre share one set of seven actors for each 45-minute one-act play, the first being Shakespeare's A Yorkshire Tragedy. Shakespeare wrote a Yorkshire play? Really? Hold your horses. The verse re-telling of the child-killing tirades of Jacobean gambler Walter Calverley, of Calverley Hall, is now more often attributed to Thomas Middleton.

Paper-pulped, Japanese-inspired puppetry, shadow play, sword fights, boxes covered with newsprint and vexed, anguished, dyspeptic discourse are the distinguishing features of Ben Prusiner's production.

Dark, intense, densely worded yet fast and furious, with a screeching strings score, it goes for the Jacobean jugular with Mark France's Calverley cast as a viperous control freak, out of control himself, both with his gambling and his hotheaded temper.

His wife (Anna Rose James) is the very definition of long suffering; in Jacobean tradition, it cannot possibly end happily and, sure enough it goes to extremes, but it still has the tragic smack of truth in these lead performances. They squeeze everything out of the torrid drama, like the stones placed on Calverley after his sentence to death in York.

York Press:

The Taskers on trial: Claire Morley's copper questions Anna Rose James's mum and Jai Rowley's son in The Taskers' Trials

France and James play the parental roles again in The Taskers' Trials, a new short play commissioned by Wildgoose from Script Yorkshire's Bill Hodson, and an impressive work it is too, as he draws together four current news stories to depict the trials and tribulations of the Taskers, a family struggling to keep their heads above water in the aftermath of joy-racing eldest son Luke (Emily Thane) running over a young woman, leaving her in a coma.

Where A Yorkshire Tragedy is relentlessly bleak, its bloody trajectory inevitable, Hodson's work has glimmers of light amid the darkness, like an Alan Bleasdale or Jim Cartwright work, and black humour keeps breaking through the surface.

Made redundant from a power station, the dad (France) has turned to selling contraband; the mum (James) is growing cannabis for a dodgy friend; Luke is out of jail and living rough; his sister (Annabel Lee) is striving to break the mould by studying law; their young brother (Jai Rowley) is learning the criminal ropes rather than his school lessons.

A boyfriend (Josh Dowden) and a copper (Claire Morley) add to the ebb and flow; the surprises keep coming and Andy Love's cast all thrive on Hodson's cracking script. Hopefully, we'll be hearing more from him.

Yorkshire Scandals, Re:Verse Theatre and Wildgoose Theatre, Friargate Theatre, York, 7.30pm tonight; 3pm and 7.30pm tomorrow; 3pm Sunday. Box office: 01904 613000 or at ridinglights.org/yorkshire-scandals/